I remember the first Sunday I visited the Upper Room. Some of my previous religious experiences had rubbed me wrongly and I wasn't exactly sure why or what. I could identify that something wasn't working, but the word I was looking for wasn't there.
I stepped into the sanctuary which was beautifully lit with just candles and sat down to listen and worship. The message was on authenticity.
The word can be defined in a few ways, but the meanings that resonated with me can be summed up below:
not false or copied
This was a completely new concept to me. It was really refreshing. What I realized I was missing in a few facets of my life was authenticity. Authenticity in my spiritual life, in my prayer life and in my personal day-to-day life.
Like a lot of driven people I strive towards perfection even though I know that's a sin. I was really missing God's purpose for me. It became apparent that I wasn't allowing myself to be totally authentic always and I was accepting others and situations that weren't either. Basically what was keeping me from living authentically and expecting it in others was fear and pride.
Usually I write a list of goals for each year, but this year I'm going to focus on living in authenticity. I am going to speak my truth (with grace and kindness), be genuine, true to me and I'm going to expect the same of others. It will be challenging and may cause me to go out on a limb, but I'm excited to see what this word, and God, will teach me!